The organizers are aboriginal, the intention is universal. This Valentine's Day, a local rally will take place to express love for our environment.
The Cariboo Interior Idle No More group and the Northern Interior Metis Cultural Society have combined to host an event called Love For Mother Earth, with a focus political intervention and local action on globally important issues.
"Toxic chemicals, industrial interests being put above our health, victims not having a voice, these things are all happening right in our back yard. It's just scary," said Patrick Pocha, one of the key organizers. "Things are not right and we have to stand up to it. It's poisoning the land."
The earthly love-in happens at the Prince George Courthouse front steps starting at 4:30 p.m. today. Pocha will start the event off, followed by a comprehensive list of environmental activists, First Nations leaders and anti-violence advocates. Pocha said there is a connection between the degradation of the environment and the degradation of society.
The organizers want the rally to be a celebration as much as a provocation, so there will be drumming, singing and dancing.
"We are thrilled to have the Louie Singers joining us from out west," Pocha said. "And we will have something rare, you'll get to hear O Canada sung in Carrier."
When asked about the symbolism of the emblematic song of the occupying nation mixing with the language of the area's First Nations, Pocha was insistent that Idle No More is a clash of ideologies, not cultures.
"We are displaying that quote by Chief Ruben George because it really says it all about what we're doing," Pocha said. "He said, 'This is not just a First Nations problem or even just an environmentalist problem. This is a worldwide issue affecting every member of the human family. We need to make positive change for our future generations.'"
Pocha said all people were invited to attend and encouraged to bring drums and dress in whatever representative regalia or garb you felt like wearing. A vigil component would also be held for the victims of violence, so bringing your own candle was suggested.